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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Downside Of Star-Power

Fair or not, charities founded by celebrities are impacted by the star’s public image. Usually, this relationship benefits both parties. The public’s awareness of the charity increases through its partnership with an athlete, actor, singer or other famous person. And the celebrity’s altruism enhances the public’s perception of him/her. But, when things go awry for one, they go downhill for the other too.

Such is the situation that the Lance Armstrong Foundation finds itself in. Highly regarded by many, this charity is best known for its yellow Livestrong bracelets and its founder, the cyclist superstar, Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately, allegations that Lance Armstrong has used performance-enhancing drugs are not only tarnishing his reputation, but also his charity’s. In fact, a recent analysis by Zeta Interactive, a marketing firm that tracks online sentiments, says that positive sentiment for the foundation has dropped from 86% in the beginning of July to 58%.This prompted our president & CEO, Ken Berger, to say that the Foundation is “not going to be able to thrive if the person who is the spirit behind it is in trouble. It is just going to devastate them."
Tell us what you think about this situation. Will Lance Armstrong’s personal problems impact his charity’s ability to fundraise?

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